Patt Morrison for September 15, 2011

Do you prefer natural or fake: a bitter battle over sugar

Mercer 21118


Karo Corn Syrup Ad.

The beginnings of a high stakes battle of the sweeteners entered a Los Angeles court this week, as a cadre of sugar farmers and the C&H Sugar Company mounted a legal offense against makers of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

The defendants, Archer-Daniels-Midland, Cargill and the Corn Refiners Association, are being accused of devising a $50 million dollar false advertising campaign to persuade consumers that HFCS is as natural as sugar. High-fructose corn syrup has been at the center of obesity epidemic and many food manufacturers have opted to take the sweetener off their labels. The producers of HFCS want to rebrand the image and have filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. What will become of this saccharin-skirmish? Some health experts argue that Americans consume too much sugar, regardless of whether it’s natural or not. Are you avoiding high-fructose corn syrup?


Karin Klein, an editorial writer at Los Angeles Times

Cynthia Larive, professor of chemistry, at UC Riverside

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